Hot Topic - Fellows Discuss How to Raise Awareness About Green Spaces

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Jul 18, 2019
by Yasmina Ghandour
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Hot Topic - Fellows Discuss How to Raise Awareness About Green Spaces

Salzburg Global Fellows share their views during the Salzburg Global program Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals Photo from Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

A select number of Fellows at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, were asked: How Do You Raise Awareness About Green Spaces in and out of Cities, and How Can We Provide Major Nature-Based Solutions? We have published their answers below.

"I think the relationship between cities and nature - it’s a very instrisic one... We need to see the inner connection, that integral relationship... It is important to preserve and conserve the existing green infrastructures that are already there... South Asian cities are really extremely vibrant and resilient because they are extremely dense, very populous. But at the same time, we have communities who are working or who have been working like stewards of nature. But often, unfortunately, in policy planning, this point is not recognized." 

Jenia Mukherjee

Assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

"I feel that awareness is already out there in cities. What we need is to listen to different voices, different actor groups that are already advocating for nature... However, not everyone is listening to them, and not everyone [is] listening to their proposals or their innovations... We need mechanisms or platforms that help us mobilize these different views and values towards nature... As long as we have inclusive visions and inclusive planning, then, of course, we can co-create... co-manage and co-plan these interventions... to harness nature.”

Maria Mejia

Sustainability practitioner completing her postgraduate studies on global change ecology

"So, to raise awareness, the first thing is to work with young people because education comes first. This is the first way to send a message that kids can come back at home and start to suggest and involve parents... in implementing green measures... The key point is make them aware about the opportunity in implementing this kind of initiative, the opportunity of course for the environment, for the society, for the people, but also for the development of land... Implementing green measures means also creating new opportunities and growth... Understand where we are, understand what we already have and understand how to customize, following the needs that we have in a certain time.”

Daniele Guglielmino

Registered architect and senior sustainability specialist of cities and communities at GBCI Europe

"Firstly, we have to align conservation with development. So, we need to be absolutely sure that our conservation aims are... addressing societal needs... and there are multiple ways we can do this... So, connectivity. We can use this imperative for developing active travel networks and mass transit systems to actually advance the connectivity of habitats. We can turn ecological corridors into active travel networks for both people and wildlife... The second thing I think we ought to do is to put nature on the balance sheet. We need to ensure that nature is no longer overlooked in decision-making and designs... The third thing I believe we should do... is to defend our right to a safe, clean and wildlife-rich environment.”

Russell Galt

Ecologist and director of the IUCN Urban Alliance

"What I believe particularly is extremely important [is] to involve the change-makers, the community leaders, the... community champions... And then also you have... the young population, the students.... They basically have a ripple effect... They go back to their community, they will go back to their family in the household and they encourage them also to take a similar action... All the activities that we do should be multi-stakeholder consultation process driven and involving all these wonderful and important sections of our society.”

Keshav Jha

Assistant manager of Energy & Climate at ICLEI South Asia


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.